Vitamin Deficiency Linked to Stroke and Plaque Buildup in Carotid Arteries

By: Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS

“A study published in the the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that people low in vitamin B12 had an increase risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.

The study focused on the relationship between homocysteine, B-12 and carotid artery plaque.

The study showed that higher blood levels of B vitamins are related to lower concentrations of homocysteine leading to decrease plaquing in the carotid arteries. However, an elevated blood homocysteine level revealed a strong risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

How the Study was Conducted
The study examined 421 people with the average age being 66. Vitamin B12, homocysteine levels and degree of plaque in the carotid arteries (via ultrasound) were evaluated.

The Results
Seventy-three patients (17%) had vitamin B12 deficiency with significant elevation of homocysteine (inflammatory cells). In addition and most important, carotid plaque was significantly larger among the group of patients who had deficiency of vitamin B12. In conclusion, the authors found that low blood vitamin B12 levels are a major cause of elevated homocysteine levels and increased carotid plaque area.

Dr. Grisanti’s Comments
Have your physician order a blood homocysteine test and a methylmalonic acid (MMA) test. This is the most specific test for B12 status NOT the serum B-12 blood test.”

Dr. Jentes’ Comments
“In my practice, I test the functional intracellular components of 35 micronutrients, including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within the white blood cells. Research shows intracellular testing is more accurate than the red blood cell testing (serum testing) at identifying a body’s nutrient deficiencies. Intracellular micronutrient testing is a clinically effective diagnostic tool for the prevention and management of chronic disease conditions. The following graphs are a sample of some of the micronutrient test reports we receive from SpectraCell Laboratories.”

Source: http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1015print.cfm

Reference
Robertson J, Iemolo F, Stabler SP, Allen RH, Spence JD. Vitamin B12, homocysteine and carotid plaque in the era of folic acid fortification of enriched cereal grain products. CMAJ. 2005 Jun 7;172(12):1569-73

 

 

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